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This is the official website for the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association, established in 1873. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

LA COUNTY FAIR - BEE BOOTH

Equipment, Supplies (Local)


Welcome to the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association!

For over 130 years the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association has been serving the Los Angeles Beekeeping Community. Our group membership is composed of commercial and small scale beekeepers, bee hobbyists, and bee enthusiasts. So whether you came upon our site by design or just 'happened' to find us - welcome! Our primary purpose is the care and welfare of the honeybee. We achieve this through education of ourselves and the general public, supporting honeybee research, and practicing responsible beekeeping in an urban environment. 

"The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others."  Saint John Chrysostom 



Next LACBA Meeting:
 
Monday, January 8, 2018.  Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6:30PM. On Monday, December 4, 2017 we celebrate the season with our LACBA Annual Holiday Banquet.

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101:
 We had our final LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 for the 2017 season. Please check back in January 2018 for info re our 2018 season. For info on our classes see: Beekeeping Class 101.

Check out our Facebook page for lots of info and updates on bees; and please remember to LIKE US: https://www.facebook.com/losangelesbeekeeping 

THE LATEST BUZZ:  

Friday
Oct202017

Warning Of 'Ecological Armageddon' After Dramatic Plunge In Insect Numbers

The Guardian    By Damian Carrington   October 18, 2017

Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say

Flying insects caught in a malaise trap, used by entomologists to collect samples. Photograph: Courtesy of Entomologisher Verein Krefeld

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.

Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

The new data was gathered in nature reserves across Germany but has implications for all landscapes dominated by agriculture, the researchers said.

The cause of the huge decline is as yet unclear, although the destruction of wild areas and widespread use of pesticides are the most likely factors and climate change may play a role. The scientists were able to rule out weather and changes to landscape in the reserves as causes, but data on pesticide levels has not been collected.

“The fact that the number of flying insects is decreasing at such a high rate in such a large area is an alarming discovery,” said Hans de Kroon, at Radboud University in the Netherlands and who led the new research.

“Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth [but] there has been some kind of horrific decline,” said Prof Dave Goulson of Sussex University, UK, and part of the team behind the new study. “We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on course for ecological Armageddon. If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.”

The research, published in the journal Plos One, is based on the work of dozens of amateur entomologists across Germany who began using strictly standardised ways of collecting insects in 1989. Special tents called malaise traps were used to capture more than 1,500 samples of all flying insects at 63 different nature reserves.

The malaise traps set in protected areas and reserves, which scientists say makes the declines even more worrying. Photograph: Courtesy of Courtesy of Entomologisher Verein Krefeld

When the total weight of the insects in each sample was measured a startling decline was revealed. The annual average fell by 76% over the 27 year period, but the fall was even higher – 82% – in summer, when insect numbers reach their peak.

Previous reports of insect declines have been limited to particular insects, such European grassland butterflies, which have fallen by 50% in recent decades. But the new research captured all flying insects, including wasps and flies which are rarely studied, making it a much stronger indicator of decline.

The fact that the samples were taken in protected areas makes the findings even more worrying, said Caspar Hallmann at Radboud University, also part of the research team: “All these areas are protected and most of them are well-managed nature reserves. Yet, this dramatic decline has occurred.”

The amateur entomologists also collected detailed weather measurements and recorded changes to the landscape or plant species in the reserves, but this could not explain the loss of the insects. “The weather might explain many of the fluctuations within the season and between the years, but it doesn’t explain the rapid downward trend,” said Martin Sorg from the Krefeld Entomological Society in Germany, who led the amateur entomologists.

The amateur entomologists also collected detailed weather measurements and recorded changes to the landscape or plant species in the reserves, but this could not explain the loss of the insects. “The weather might explain many of the fluctuations within the season and between the years, but it doesn’t explain the rapid downward trend,” said Martin Sorg from the Krefeld Entomological Society in Germany, who led the amateur entomologists.

Goulson said a likely explanation could be that the flying insects perish when they leave the nature reserves. “Farmland has very little to offer for any wild creature,” he said. “But exactly what is causing their death is open to debate. It could be simply that there is no food for them or it could be, more specifically, exposure to chemical pesticides, or a combination of the two.”

In September, a chief scientific adviser to the UK government warned that regulators around the world have falsely assumed that it is safe to use pesticides at industrial scales across landscapes and that the “effects of dosing whole landscapes with chemicals have been largely ignored”.

The scientists said further work is urgently needed to corroborate the new findings in other regions and to explore the issue in more detail. While most insects do fly, it may be that those that don’t, leave nature reserves less often and are faring better. It is also possible that smaller and larger insects are affected differently, and the German samples have all been preserved and will be further analysed.

In the meantime, said De Kroon: “We need to do less of the things that we know have a negative impact, such as the use of pesticides and the disappearance of farmland borders full of flowers.”

 As well as being pollinators insects provide food for birds and other animals and help control pests. Photograph: Kevin Elsby/Alamy

Lynn Dicks at the University of East Anglia, UK, and not involved in the new research said the work was convincing. “It provides important new evidence for an alarming decline that many entomologists have suspected is occurring for some time.”

“If total flying insect biomass is genuinely declining at this rate – about 6% per year – it is extremely concerning,” she said. “Flying insects have really important ecological functions, for which their numbers matter a lot. They pollinate flowers: flies, moths and butterflies are as important as bees for many flowering plants, including some crops. They provide food for many animals – birds, bats, some mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians. Flies, beetles and wasps are also predators and decomposers, controlling pests and cleaning up the place generally.”

Another way of sampling insects – car windscreens – has often been anecdotally used to suggest a major decline, with people remembering many more bugs squashed on their windscreens in the past.

“I think that is real,” said Goulson. “I drove right across France and back this summer – just when you’d expect your windscreen to be splattered all over – and I literally never had to stop to clean the windscreen.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/18/warning-of-ecological-armageddon-after-dramatic-plunge-in-insect-numbers#img-2

Wednesday
Oct182017

Pollination Conservation in Cities with Kevin Matteson

Ohio State University     Octoer 18, 2017

Pollinator Conservation in Cities webinar, recorded 10/18/2017 (63m)

http://u.osu.edu/beelab/pollinator-conservation-in-cities-with-kevin-matteson/

Matteson OSU Webinar_2017 PDF handout

Join Ohio State University’s next month's webinar: November 15 at 9AM Eastern/6AM Pacific
Bee City USA & Bee Campus USA: Making the World Safer for Pollinators
Phyllis Stiles, Founder & Director, Bee City USA & Bee Campus USA

For more info: http://u.osu.edu/beelab/

Sunday
Oct152017

Samuel Ramsey - University of Maryland

Project Apis m.

(Note from LACBA: "Through our volunteer efforts at the Bee Booth at the LA County Fair the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association supports research through Project Apis m. Take a few minutes and vote for Samuel Ramsey @http://www.u213mt.com/." Note from Project Apis m.: "Thank you for your support! This project alone has pretty big implications for our understanding of Varroa mites- beekeeper enemy #1!)

Project Apis m. funded this important project, please vote and help Samuel Ramsey win this contest for his great work!

"Vote for me! This April I won a national competition where you're judged on how well you can present your entire Doctoral Thesis in 3 minutes (called the 3MT). I was told that I would have the distinct honor of representing the University of Maryland and, more broadly, the US in the International Competition in October! Well, October kind of snuck up on me here in Thailand!!! A big part of that competition started on Sunday: "The People's Choice Vote" and apparently my video is doing pretty well!! The University of Maryland has been really excited about it! They think I've got a shot at winning the International round and they want me to take home the People's Choice Title too! The only problem is that it's kind of difficult for me to rally the troops and get the word out while I'm in another time zone 8,431 miles away from home (approximately). So how about this: I'll rally the troops here at Chiang Mai University (after all, this project is the whole reason why I'm here); could you guys help me rock the vote in the ole US of A?"

Post this link wherever you can and tell everyone to Vote for Samuel Ramsey, "The Curious Case of the Bee Mite's Bite" at www.u213mt.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq52ug3HTxY

Tuesday
Oct102017

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 (Class #8): October 14, 2017, 9am-Noon

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 (Class #8) Saturday, October 14, 2017, 9am-noon
BEE SUIT REQUIRED FOR THIS CLASS.

 THE VALLEY HIVE
9633 BADEN AVENUE
CHATSWORTH, CA 93063
(818) 280-6500

BRING A FOLDING CHAIR. Seating is limited.

For directions and day of class updates contact: The Valley Hive

Click here for more information about our
Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association
Beekeeping Class 101
.

TOPIC: Getting your bees through the winter.

Note from The Valley Hive: Even though The Valley Hive has moved to a new location, LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 will continue at 9633 Baden Avenue from 9-12pm. Our new shop at 10538 Topanga Canyon Blvd will open at 8am on Saturday if anyone needs to purchase a suit or other beekeeping equipment. Suits are required. We will be working inside the hive, so if you have beekeeping tools – smoker, hive tool, bee brush – please bring them to class, along with smoker fuel and a lighter.

Calling all LACBA experienced beekeepers - The Valley Hive could use your help with bee class this year. Thank you!

Tuesday
Oct102017

Link Between Brain Connections And Cleverness In Bees Could Shed Light On Differences In Human Intelligence

DailyMail.com    Associated Press October 3, 2017

  • Scientists looked at type of neural connection known as 'synaptic complexes'
  • Bees that had more of these in visual area of brain region had better memories
  • The same bees were also quicker to learn new tasks, researchers discovered
  • It is the first study to suggest a link between the number of neural connections in the brain and how well an individual does on a cognitive task

A study of what makes some bumblebees brighter than others could shed light on differences in human intelligence, scientists believe.

Researchers looked at the brains of bees trained to perform different tasks and found a link between nerve cell connections and cleverness.

Bees with more synaptic connections in a specific part of their brains associated with vision had better memories and learned faster than those with fewer connections.

A study of what makes some bees brighter than others could shed light on differences in human intelligence, scientists believe Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4945186/Bees-shed-light-differences-human-intelligence.

A study of what makes some bees brighter than others could shed light on differences in human intelligence, scientists believe

Dr Clint Perry, a member of the team from Queen Mary, University of London, said: 'Our findings are the first to suggest a strong correlation between the number of neural connections in the brain and how well an individual does on a cognitive task.

'However, at this stage we cannot show a causative link between the two.

'Our results should provide new avenues for understanding the neural basis of cognition in all animals, including humans.'

The bees were taught to discriminate between 10 differently coloured artificial flowers, half of which contained tasty sugar water and half a bitter quinine solution.

Two days later the bees were tested on how well they remembered which colours were rewarding and which were not.

Then an imaging technique called confocal microscopy was used to look deep into the brains of the bees in areas known to be responsible for visual learning and memory.

Researchers looked at the brains of bees trained to perform different tasks and found a link between nerve cell connections and cleverness.

Researchers looked at the brains of bees trained to perform different tasks and found a link between nerve cell connections and cleverness

They found that bees with a higher density of neural connections called synaptic complexes within the visual association brain region were better at remembering the colours.

Further experiments showed that bees which were quicker to learn - shown by taking fewer landings to find the right flowers - also had a higher density of synaptic complexes in the same brain region.

The findings appear in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Queen Mary Phd student and lead author Li Li said: 'For the first time, we have shown that visual learning can increase the density of nerve connections in this area of the brain and that an enriched environment, where bees are exposed to many colours without learning anything from them, can also affect the synaptic organisation in the brain.'

A different study by Queen Mary University of London found the insects, given a selection of balls, cleverly went for the closest even after watching demonstrator bees which always chose the furthest away. 

Scientists placed bees on a platform.

Using either a live or plastic bee, they were shown how to move the ball into the trap door in the centre of the pitch.

The bees observed the technique and then copied it themselves.

Each time they pushed a ball into the trap door they were rewarded with sugar. 

Link to Video: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4945186/Bees-shed-light-differences-human-intelligence.html#v-1676543204938791450

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4945186/Bees-shed-light-differences-human-intelligence.html